Monday, 6 June 2011

Water and Jobs in the San Joaquin Valley, again...

Since Devin Nunes introduced H.R. 1837, I don’t think a day has gone by when someone hasn’t asked me to write a letter, op-ed, blog, press release, t.v. show, speak at a meeting/hearing, etc.  I’ve even had people try to make it easy for me by sending ghost-written letters and op-eds for me to approve complete with folksy quotes and flattering self-references (sorry, but I write my own stuff). 

I did have an intern call his office a few times to get a source on the 25,000 to 30,000 jobs created claim in the bills press release and promotional materials, but we never got a call back.  I think I saw the fisherman respond by pulling their own billion dollar propaganda back out, and it makes me feel as if the debate has taken a few steps backwards to a place I thought we left behind.

I typed up a FAQ style handout for a meeting earlier today, and posted it to our website here.  Not much new information, but hopefully this format is useful to the folks asking for something new.

So, what do I think of the bill anyway?  I have been interested in all the comments about how Nunes is undermining the BDCP, suggesting that his bill is bad for his own constituents.  Yes, he is undermining BDCP, but BDCP isn’t shaping up to be a great deal for South Valley agriculture anyway.  The costs are much higher and the additional water is much lower than they thought it would be when the originally signed on to look at it.  I think South Valley ag. is better off under the current biops (less water than they want, but at least most of it is cheap) than under an unsubsidized BDCP (a little more water, but all the water is a lot more expensive).  If that’s the case, then the best strategy for them is to try to change the pump operations through legal and political channels.

About the Author

Ethan Jacob

Author & Editor

I am Ethan Jacob Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, where I have a joint faculty appointment in the Eberhardt School of Business and the Public Policy Program in the McGeorge School of Law..


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